It’s summer! The perfect time for kids to have fun, relax, and to hopefully discover some amazing books. As a teacher I am often asked by parents how they can get their kids reading over the summer. Here are some of the things I find encourages summer reading.
1. Let your child choose
Summer is the perfect time for reading for pleasure. During the school year your child has to worry about the level of the book and whether it’s just right, but over the summer your child should read anything that interests them. If the book ends up being too hard, your child will put it down. It really can’t be too easy as long as your child is enjoying it. And your child doesn’t have to read books. There are some amazing magazines for kids that they may want to read.
2. Make books a family experience
Research shows that it is enriching for kids to have book read aloud to them as old as high school. Summer is a great time to read to your child, either a whole book or by taking turns. If you don’t have time to read together, or if your child insists on reading to him or herself, read the same book so that you can talk about it together. This is especially helpful for getting through the dreaded summer reading list. If your school has required reading, reading and discussing the books on the list will also help your child remember the book later on.
3. Join summer reading contests
Local libraries are great for encouraging summer reading. They have contests with prizes for kids and teens. Many libraries have made joining their contests incredibly easy by allowing kids to post the books they have read online. But don’t just look at the library for summer contests. Local stores and banks often have summer reading contests as well. If you want to do something online, Scholastic has a summer reading challenge.
4. Book lists and more
Start with the lists we have here on our blog. Each month we post new releases and we have a ton of genre and interest lists. Your local library also has some great lists. If your child is more visual, a great place to have them visit is Book Trailers for Readers. I particularly love the student made blockbusters. Once your child has read a book, you can have them use IMovie to create their own. Then your child can be the one to recommend books to others.
How do you encourage summer reading? Do you have any other ways for kids to find great books?
Stacy Barnett Mozer is a third grade teacher and the author of recently released middle grade novel THE SWEET SPOT. She blogs about girls in sports at Sporty Girl Books. Visit Stacy at www.stacymozer.com, on Twitter @SMozer, and on Facebook.